Weekends in spring are like touching base. They’re the only places you can’t be tagged out and you run from one to the next, hoping not to get caught. Our British colleagues, more secular than we, tend to have both Good Friday and Easter Monday off work. Religious America grins that Easter’s always on a Sunday so nobody has to be given any time off. This disparity has long played into my fascination with holidays. After generously giving you off both Christmas and New Years—within a week of each other!—the typical US company will throw a long weekend or two into January and February, but then won’t let you out of sight until the end of May. And this is just as the weather is warming up and we’re wanting to be outdoors a bit more. On weekends only, of course.
Holidays are a religious idea. We have the various world religions to thank for them. The idea of sacred time was, once upon a time, taken seriously. And nothing is more secular than business. World religions gave us the concept of weekends and the little breaks that we take from doing the same stultifying thing day after blessed day. The more enlightened of companies have decided, after senior-level employees have accumulated days off with years of service, that adding extra days for every decade of servitude isn’t really fair and stop the practice. So we find ourselves in that strange day between Good Friday (a work day) and Easter (thankfully, a Sunday), and thinking, “you know I could really use a break about now.” We cast a weather eye toward Memorial Day while dreaming Beltane dreams.
My personal fascination with holidays really kicked off when beginning 925 work. I don’t mind long work hours if it’s a vocation rather than a job. When the relationship’s purely economic, however, you begin to miss the time to regenerate. We remember someone died yesterday, too—we’re told—liberate us. Tomorrow amid lily scent we’re informed he came back. The rest of us, however, look at the clock and know that despite world-changing events we’ll be back at our desks on Monday since, well, what do you think we’re paying you for? Don’t try pointing across the Atlantic, either. They’re burdened with holidays and we’ve been liberated to capitalism. And what are you doing, reading this blog on a Saturday? I am most honored and grateful. And I hope you have some time to rest, since it’s still a long way to the last Monday in May.